ARS Technica had a chat with Barry Young, Managing Director of the OLED Association, and learned the current state of the global economy is bad news for the OLED technology. Young said large OLED displays may arrive in 2010, but it ultimately depends on how fast the economy recovers.
Indeed, the other possibilities of OLED—flexible displays, transparent displays that allow a window by day to function as a light by night, and super-efficient plastic OLED lights that can be cut and molded into interesting shapes—could all be held up until demand for displays starts to recover.
The near-term timeline for OLED panels is fairly stable, and it's actually in better shape than many folks think. To understand where OLED is at, you first have to forget about Sony's headline-grabbing 11-inch OLED TV, which runs a ridiculous $2,500. Young's comments indicated that this unit is much more of a limited run proof-of-concept than it is a genuine consumer product, and even if mass-market demand for the TV were to materialize tomorrow, Sony's production volumes on it are so low that the company wouldn't be able to meet it.